Menu Close

Hong Kong man jailed for 9 years under national security law

HONG KONG, July 30 — The initial particular person convicted beneath Hong Kong’s countrywide safety law was jailed for 9 years on Friday for terrorist things to do and inciting secession, judges explained, in a watershed ruling with long-term implications for the city’s judicial landscape.

Former waiter Tong Ying-kit, 24, was accused of driving his motorcycle into a few riot police very last yr although carrying a flag with the protest slogan “Liberate Hong Kong. Revolution of our situations.”

Tong’s lawyer, Clive Grossman, explained to reporters outside the court docket the protection would enchantment both equally the verdict and the sentence. He manufactured no additional comment.

Tong did not testify all through the demo.

After sentencing, nevertheless, he urged Hong Kongers to keep persevering like the city’s path-blazing Olympic Game titles gold and silver medallists, Cheung Ka-extended and Siobhan Haughey.

“Hang in there everybody, just like Hong Kong’s athletes,” Tong’s attorney, Lawrence Lau, quoted him as indicating.

Judges Esther Toh, Anthea Pang and Wilson Chan – picked by city chief Carrie Lam to listen to countrywide protection circumstances – dominated on Tuesday that the slogan was “capable of inciting other people to commit secession”.

On Friday, the judges sentenced Tong to 6-1/2 a long time for inciting secession and eight several years for terrorist routines. Of these, 2-1/2 yrs will operate consecutively, resulting in a total time period of 9 yrs.

Tong Ying-kit was sentenced to nine years in jail after not receiving a trial by jury in Hong Kong.
Tong Ying-package was sentenced to nine a long time in jail just after not receiving a demo by jury in Hong Kong.
AP Image/Vincent Yu

“We think about that this general term really should sufficiently reflect the defendant’s culpability in the two offenses and the abhorrence of society, at the exact time, obtaining the deterrent effect needed,” they stated in a created judgment.

Human legal rights teams criticized Tong’s conviction, declaring it imposes new limitations on free speech, as effectively as the precedents established by the demo, which they say distinction with Hong Kong’s typical regulation traditions.

Amnesty International’s Yamini Mishra claimed in a statement the sentencing showed the stability law “is not simply a device to instil terror into govt critics in Hong Kong it is a weapon that will be employed to incarcerate them.”

Notable exiled Hong Kong activist Nathan Regulation said the prolonged sentence was “outrageous”.

Hong Kong authorities claim Tong Ying-kit drove his motorcycle with a “Liberate Hong Kong” flag into three policemen on July 1, 2020.
Hong Kong authorities declare Tong Ying-package drove his bike with a “Liberate Hong Kong” flag into 3 policemen on July 1, 2020.
Liau Chung-ren/ZUMA Push Wire

“Tong is not a terrorist, Hong Kong protesters are not terrorists. The Hong Kong government uses this stigmatization to discredit the democratic motion and justify its suppression.”

The Hong Kong federal government did not immediately react to a ask for for comment on the accusations but safety secretary Chris Tang told reporters he welcomed the sentence.

“The courtroom has dominated that the slogan connotes Hong Kong independence,” Tang explained. “If you say this slogan, you require to bear the penalties.”


Tong had been denied bail in line with a provision of the countrywide protection regulation that puts the onus on the defendant to establish they would not be a stability threat if released. Tong also did not get a trial by jury mainly because of a perceived possibility to the personal protection of jurors.

Hong Kong and China have consistently mentioned that all the rights and freedoms promised to the previous British colony on its return to Chinese rule in 1997 had been intact, but that nationwide stability was a purple line. All instances have been managed in accordance with the regulation, both governments have said.

Tong Ying-kit’s lawyer Clive Grossman said he will appeal Ying-kit’s nine-year jail sentence.
Tong Ying-kit’s law firm Clive Grossman reported he will appeal Ying-kit’s 9-calendar year jail sentence.

While the protection experienced questioned for lenience, describing Tong as a first rate young male supporting his father and youthful sister who had accomplished some thing stupid, the court dismissed most mitigation arguments as he experienced pleaded not guilty.

Tong was also identified guilty of terrorist things to do, with judges ruling on Tuesday that his bike was most likely a deadly weapon and his steps “a deliberate challenge mounted versus the police”.

“Whoever carries out terrorist actions with a watch to scary the public in get to go after political agenda, whatever that is, must be condemned and punished,” they wrote.

Tong’s trial targeted generally on the which means of the “Liberate Hong Kong” slogan, which was ubiquitous during the 2019 professional-democracy protests.

Police officers perform a stop and search on people outside the High Court in Hong Kong, China on July 30, 2021.
Police officers stop and search people outdoors the Significant Courtroom in Hong Kong on July 30, 2021.

The arguments above interpretation drew on topics this sort of as Chinese record, the U.S. civil legal rights movement and Malcolm X.

The protection argued it could mean different items to different people like the motivation for democracy and independence, but the judges ruled that they had been “sure that the defendant entirely recognized the slogan to bear the this means of Hong Kong independence”.

Supply url